Lori Rupe attended both Methodist and Presbyterian churches as a young child, but when she was 13, her parents discovered a UU church in their hometown of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

However, when Lori moved to Battle Creek she spent 20 years attending a protestant church there.

“I married a Baptist who considered me to be a heathen, Lori said. “My husband felt it was important our daughter be raised in a protestant church.”

Lori became active in the Battle Creek church but said she didn’t feel spiritually connected.

“Even after my divorce I continued to attend that church because I felt close to my church family,” Lori said.

She added, “Now that I’m retired, I decided it was time for me to find a new church family where my soul can be nurtured.

She said she came to the bazaar two years ago just to check People’s out and then started attending regularly the summer of 2018.  She was concerned the forty-minute commute from Battle Creek would limit her activities, but says that doesn’t seem so formidable now.

Lori wanted to belong to a church where all people and their differences are valued.

“I was looking for an intellectual approach to spiritual growth, rather than dogma and conformance,” she said.

Lori appreciates a place where people support each other during good times and bad. At People’s she has found friends with whom she socializes occasionally during the week, and she finds the sermons nurturing.

She said, “I don’t have a single source of religion, but I find that thinking about ideas like those from Reverend Rachel’s sermons important. I used to think I had to hurry up and figure out what I believe. Now I know it’s OK to have questions, and that there’s no hurry because it’s an evolving process with no end.

“The first thing I did here was join the book club,” Lori said. “I enjoyed the books and the discussion, but more importantly it was my first opportunity to make friends at my new church.”

Then she volunteered at the bazaar and now is in the bell choir.

“Even though I hadn’t done anything musical in 35 years, it has come back enough that I can contribute to the choir and enjoy the music and fellowship,” she said.

(Lori, 62, is retired from Kellogg Company after 32 years in R & D, Quality, Project management and other science related areas. She has a 26-year-old daughter and a son-in-law.)

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